There’s a therapist who said, (sorry I can’t find the link) something about how history begs us to remember that serial cheaters like my husband aren’t likely to all of a sudden be able to keep true to a vow of monogamy.
If that doesn’t slap you in your already stupefied face as a betrayed spouse, I don’t know what does.
I’ve searched many, many times to try to find statistics because they comfort me (usually) and I’ve not been helped by what I have found. Anywhere from 90-97% for those with behaviors of Sex Addicts relapse. That means very nearly 100% of people like The Player do their acting out behavior again. The main behavior would be sex outside of our marriage, but there are so many behaviors leading up to and related to sex outside of our marriage. Those behaviors would be considered “slips” like flirting/inappropriate language (which I argue leads to sex outside the marriage) with the opposite sex, drinking in bars to find people to flirt with to feed his ego and too close of hero type friendships with women.
The Player takes exception to these numbers – of course he does – because he says numbers and percentages don’t apply to everyone, they don’t know his intentions, and those numbers don’t know how much he “will never risk” his family again. He even said, “Those numbers don’t know what is in my heart.” The problem with this thinking is that everyone thinks they’re the exception (like me) but obviously some of us aren’t, right? Some of us – most of us if we believe the research – will be lied to again, cheated on again, hurt again by the people who beg us to stay and try to trust them again.
I want a peaceful and loving home for my kids. If I can somehow accept what he’s done, I will not hate to have an authentic person to share my life with even though I feel shafted in what I was promised by him for a quarter of a century. I’m not stupid. I go into our reconciliation with the best intentions but realize the odds are against me. The difference this time vs. last time I found out is that I now know he is capable (and likely) to cheat on me. I won’t be surprised. I also know I will survive. I will even thrive if we split up. I have as many safeguards as I can in place, with the big one being a polygraph exam annually, so number two is coming soon.
So, I’m moving on with serious trepidation and realistic expectations, I guess.